12 Week Internships at the Sloth Conservation and Wildlife Experience

12 Week Internships at the Sloth Conservation and Wildlife Experience

Posted by Michael Starbuck on 22nd May 2018

Whilst typically the Sloth Conservation and Wildlife Experience offers you the chance to volunteer for 2 to 4 weeks we do also offer long term internships for those with looking to get involved in relevant fields such as veterinary studies or zoology. These internships provide extensive training and real-world knowledge of what it takes to work hands-on with wildlife in a rehabilitation setting.

What does the internship involve?

Most internships have a duration of 12 weeks with the possibility of extending this to 24 weeks following a 3-month review (if this is your intention, please let us know us know ahead of time as availability is limited and internships are scheduled quite far in advance). Interns will work 6 days a week for at least 8 hours a day. You will have one day off a week in which you can explore the beautiful beaches and rainforest in the surrounding area. We can tailor your internship to the needs of your university program’s requirements. We ask that all interns select and carry out a special project during their time with us, culminating in both a short written component and informal verbal presentation. For those students who need to write a thesis or dissertation, this is an excellent opportunity to carry out your studies.

Required Qualifications/Experience

We are seeking serious, passionate individuals with the desire to dedicate themselves to work in the wildlife/animal fields. All interns must be extremely committed to animal conservation and willing to forgo personal comfort for the benefit of the animals they are helping for the duration of their stay.

Coursework in veterinary studies, primatology, zoology, environmental education, wildlife ecology or a related field is recommended. Spanish language skills, as well as experience travelling to a tropical country and living in remote conditions are preferred. All interns must complete required vaccinations and purchase current international health insurance while in Costa Rica.

Available Internships

Zookeeper Intern

This internship will help prepare you for a career in the field of Zookeeping. You will assist our Sanctuary Manager/Biologist & Zookeeper in our Wildlife Sanctuary with the aim of elevating the quality of life of animals in captivity. You will be performing animal husbandry which includes: assisting in the daily feeding of the resident animals; cleaning cages and enclosures; the creation of enrichment, both structural and sensory. You will assess behaviour and may be called upon to assist in capturing animals for necessary medical procedures.

Veterinary Clinic Intern

This internship will help prepare you for a career in Veterinary Medicine. You will assist our veterinary team in the clinic performing exams, treatments, surgeries, and various procedures. You will assist in the intake of injured and orphaned wildlife, provide routine daily cleaning and feeding for the animals currently residing in the clinic, and assist in necropsies to determine cause of death. Interns should expect a busy, highly variable environment with a high number of emergency cases coming in at a moment’s notice.

Rehabilitation Intern

This internship is well suited for students or recent graduates with a focus in biology, wildlife management, animal conservation, and similar fields of study. You will work in Rainforest Animal Rescue (RAR), where you will help to prepare animals for their release. The tasks required of you will vary greatly depending upon the animals in our care and where they are on their journey to release. Activities will include enrichment, observation, ethograms, care and feeding of animals in our rehabilitation and 'boot camp' areas and more. You may be called upon to perform studies of suitable habitats, and/or to track individuals after release.

Nursery Assistant Intern

This internship requires a selfless dedication to the care and rearing of orphaned baby wildlife. You will assist our Nursery Manager in a variety of duties that may include syringe feeding, preparing special diets for the babies, collecting wild leaves, and supervising the climbing and foraging of young animals as they practice for their lives in the wild. This position requires long hours, a willingness to work some night shifts, and foregoing personal comfort in rustic conditions in the interest of the babies you are working hard to help save. A preference for a 6-month placement is given for this internship given the extensive training required.

What Next

If you would like to join any of the above internships or would simply like some more information, then please complete the enquiry form on the Sloth Conservation and Wildlife Experience page ensuring you reference the 12-week internship program you are interested in. Here you will also be able to find out more information regarding the location of the wildlife centre and the accommodation.


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